Amazing Kids! Magazine

Word Booster – Animal-related Terminology

By: Olivia Pineda, Assistant Editor

Canine (n.) an animal of the family Canidae, especially a dog.
The fluffy canine eagerly greeted me when I opened the door, licking my hand excitedly.

Diurnal (adj.) awake during the day, and asleep at night
Humans are diurnal, because we sleep at night and are awake during the day.

Herbivore (n.) an animal that eats only plants
Some dinosaurs were herbivores because they only ate plants.

Invertebrate (adj.) not having a spinal column
Jellyfish are invertebrates because they are made of a jelly-like material instead of bones.

Nocturnal (adj.) awake at night, and asleep during the day
Cheetahs are nocturnal because they catch their prey most easily at night.

Predator (n.) an animal that hunts other animals
Sharks are fierce predators, and will stop at nothing to catch their food.

Prey (n.) the object of a predator
Small fish are often prey to bigger fish in the ocean.

Carnivore (n.) an animal that eats only meat
The T-Rex was a carnivore that killed other dinosaurs for its food.

Feisty (adj.) full of energy
Small dogs, especially poodles and chihuahuas are often feisty.

Scaly (adj.) having a lot of scales
Some people don’t like the scaly skin of snakes.

Cold-blooded (adj.) having blood that is subject to the temperature outside
It’s important to make sure that you have a heating lamp for your cold-blooded reptile, to make sure that it stays warm enough to survive.

Tame (adj.) docile, submissive
Most dogs are tame, and will obey your commands.

Dominant (adj.) ruling, controlling
In wolf packs, there is often a dominant wolf who will lead the other wolves in a hunt.

Submissive (adj.) humble, obedient
A good dog is a submissive one, one that obeys your commands.

Territorial (adj.) defending an area against intruders
Some dogs are territorial, and will bark if you get too close to them.